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Labor Certification Process for companies and immigrants.

An employer wishing to hire a foreign employee to work in a U.S. based company has to undergo a rigorous and complex application process. The U.S. government is keen on trying to amplify and push forward the American workforce, therefore making it extra tedious for employers to bring in foreign employees. However, it is definitely possible with a knowledgeable and experienced immigration attorney.

The PERM is implemented into the immigration process of a foreign individual and a U.S. company as a means of determining the need for the foreign employer. PERM stands for ‘ Program Electronic Review Management”. PERM is an application process that the U.S. employer must follow to prove that no U.S. citizen employee is able to fill in the vacant position needed at the company and that by employing a foreigner, it will not unbalance the American workforce or affect American jobs, wages, and opportunities. Foreigners that wish to obtain a green card through their employer through a EB2 or EB3, will have to undergo the PERM process. This labor certification process is overseen by the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) within the Department of Labor (DOL). So, in order for an employer to be able to petition for an employee with USCIS, they must first be cleared by the Department of Labor.


The entire process is a multifaceted combination of applications and requirements to obtain the labor certification.

Step 1: Create a full time position 

The first step in this process is for the U.S. Company to create and specific and descriptive full time position for their future employee. The position must be detailed to the T. Including: wage, specific duties, pre-requisites, schedule, location, and address to send resume to.

Step 2: Labor Market Test 

This is a crucial step of the process and the meat and bones of the purpose of the PERM. The employer must prove to the Department of Labor that there is a lack of sufficient U.S. workers that qualify for the position. There are several requirements and methods for this step in the process and must all be done within a 30-18 day before filing the PERM application.

Step 3: Prevailing Wage Determination

This step of the process is to prove to the DOL that  foreign employers will not negatively affect the American workforce or wages of similarly placed U.S. workers. The U.S. company must obtain a prevailing wage determination from the appropriate State workforce agency. Once the prevailing wage determination is set, this will be the minimum wage that the employer can pay the intended employee for the position.

Step 4: Submit PERM Application

The final step in this process is to file the PERM application, formally known as the ETA-90899 with the Department of Labor. The application is quite lengthy and requires heavy attention to detail. Once the application is filed and approved, the employer and employee can move forward with USCIS processing for the I-140 Petition.

All in all, while the PERM process is a tedious and lengthy process its ultimate goal is to bring foreign workers into the United States and enhance the economy. As you can see, this is a time consuming process that requires attention to detail and an experienced attorney to guide you through the process. Give our law firm a call and we will be happy to assist you!